President Donald Trump has called on North Korea to “make a deal” shortly before he makes a visit to China where Pyongyang’s military build-up and trade will be on the agenda.
Trump’s tone took a shift from his normal combative tone towards North Korea as he said that diplomacy could be an option in dealing with the provocations.
"It makes sense for North Korea to come to the table and make a deal that is good for the people of North Korea and for the world," Mr. Trump said, at a joint press conference with Moon Jae-in, the South Korean president, in Seoul.
Trump also congratulated Xi Jinping, the Chinese president, for being “very helpful” on the North Korea issue and appeared to indicate that China could unveil fresh measures to confront Pyongyang.
Many agree that Trump’s arrival in Beijing on Wednesday could be the trickiest in his five-nation tour across Asia. He’s expected to address the issue of unfair trading practices with the Chinese leaders but also seek tougher action from China in handling North’s nuclear programme.
China has been North Korea’s diplomatic ally and key trading partner, although pressure from President Trump made the two to suspend coal imports and enforced UN sanctions in key industries. China is an economic lifeline for Kim Jong-Un’s regime since that’s where they source most of their energy. "China's trying very hard to solve the problem with North Korea,” Mr. Trump added.
"If we get China if we get Russia … we think that things will happen, and they could happen very quickly.”
Some people believe that China is becoming increasingly frustrated with Pyongyang’s provocations after Kim’s regime carried out a series missile tests and detonated what it claimed to be a hydrogen bomb earlier this year. China might impose additional punishments on North Korea during Trump’s visit, however, it's not clear as to whether that will result from US pressure.
Paul Haenle, who served on the National Security Council under George W Bush and Barack Obama, said: “At this point, it is not pressured from the US that will change Beijing’s calculus, but actions by Pyongyang that impinge on China’s sovereignty or threaten the credibility of the Communist Party of China.”
It’s unlikely that China will be receptive to pressure from Mr. Trump on trade. However, Washington revealed ahead of the trip that the US President will send a “clear message’ for China to stop undermining US companies by giving state support to its own firms.
Trump will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday at Beijing’s Forbidden City, the former imperial palace for China’s dynastic rulers, the Global Times newspaper said. During his visit to China, President Trump is expected to stay at the St. Regis Hotel in central Beijing. Authorities had cordoned off the roads around the hotel, while some of the local businesses appeared to be closed.
In the meantime, Mr. Trump was served a fermented soy sauce during his South Korea trip which was 360 years old – a century older than America itself. The Sauce was accompanied by a beef rib dish served in a four-course meal at the presidential Blue House in honor of Mr. Trump's visit.